If you’re someone who downloads content without a second thought, then this Melbourne-based web series might be enough to change your mind.

Created by Tim Stone, The Golden Age of Piracy is an exploration of the evolution, motivation and attitudes behind Australia’s high rates of piracy and the slow demise of the cultural institution that is the local video store.

Why should people watch your series?
If they’re interested in the piracy debate in Australia it provides some historical context and demonstrates what we stand to lose as we move to streaming services.

How do you reach your audience?
The series was timed for release at the height of the piracy debate in Australia – and launched the week of the Attorney General’s announcement of a review of Australia’s copyright laws. As such it garnered significant attention from ABC News and consequently wider community interest.

What do you want audiences to take away from your series?
That as the wider piracy debate wages between copyright holders, consumers and government; there are small institutions like personalised video libraries of significant cultural value that could be lost forever.

Describe the ultimate fan of your series?
People interested in the piracy debate. Fans of cult, art house and rare undiscovered gems from cinema past. People who recognise that cult video stores were so much more that simply just a place to hire films. Also people who are slightly sceptical that algorithmically based video collections will really be able to cater to our every need. And of course haters. Haters still have a lot of anger towards the behaviour of copyright holders and distributors. Haters were the people who never rewound their tapes (or never even knew what tapes were.)

How many people worked on this project?
I had help from my colleagues mainly; Carlo Zeccola; Nicola Harvey; Clare Barret and Claire Cremin and the team at ABC Archives, title designer Benjamin Portas and composer Alister Morley and of course Derek De Vreught at Picture Search in Richmond.

How do you finance your series?
I had a budget of $700 dollars from ABC.

When are you completely satisfied with your work?
When a project takes on a life of its own. Ultimately web series live in the minds of viewers. This series also engaged a lot of haters. I think when you make people angry about an issue that is also a measure of success.

What is your favourite thing about making web series?
It’s a space to experiment with the form and conventions of long form storytelling.

The Golden Age of Piracy on the web:
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The Golden Age of Piracy on Twitter:  @timstonerrock       @abcarts